Weiming Mao PhD

Lab mission

My laboratory is dedicated to understanding the molecular mechanisms in the trabecular meshwork of Primary Open Angle Glaucoma (POAG) and Glucocorticoid-induced Glaucoma (GIG) patients. Our objective is to use trabecular meshwork (TM) cells, perfusion cultured cow eyes, and mouse models to identify novel therapeutic targets for lowering intraocular pressure and treat glaucoma. Our research techniques involve cell biology, physiology, molecular biology, histology, immunohistochemistry, and surgeries for lab animals.


  1. Cross-talk between TGFβ and Wnt signaling pathways: Both the TGFβ and Wnt signaling pathways are involved in POAG, with excessive activation of TGFβ signaling and excessive inhibition of Wnt signaling in the TM.  We recently reported that the two pathways cross-inhibit each other in the human TM (HTM). We are currently studying the mechanism of the cross-inhibition and its impact on intraocular pressure (IOP) regulation.
  1. The role of the Wnt pathway in GIG: We have recently identified several Wnt pathway genes that are differentially regulated in glucocorticoid (GC) responder and non-responder cow eyes. We are studying the role of these candidate genes and the Wnt pathway in mediating differential responsiveness of eyes to GC treatment.
  1. Epigenetic regulation of POAG-associated factors: Many POAG-associated factors are elevated in POAG patients. We found that modification of histone acetylation associated with the promoter of TGFβ2 is able to alter its level in the HTM. We are studying whether there is a difference in DNA methylation and histone acetylation between non-POAG and POAG TM.

Recent Publications



  • Weiming Mao (PI)
  • Naga pradeep Rayana M.S,  Research Assistant
  • Hannah Webber Ph.D. (Graduated in 2017; currently a Postdoc at Stanford University)
  • Jaclyn Bermudez Ph.D (Graduated in 2016; currently Director of Scientific Investment at Western Commerce Group)

This page was last modified on October 10, 2019